Project Gutenberg's The Speaker, No. 5: Volume II, Issue 1, by Various
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Title: The Speaker, No. 5: Volume II, Issue 1 December, 1906.
Editor: Paul M. Pearson
Release Date: April 5, 2009 [EBook #28498]
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*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE SPEAKER, DECEMBER 1906 ***
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The Table of Contents for this issue is foundat the end of the text.
EDITED BY PAUL M. PEARSON
PEARSON BROTHERS PHILADELPHIA
N teaching public speaking theThe Will final purpose must be to train the will. Without this faculty in control all else comes to nothing. Exercises may be given for articulation, but without a determined purpose to speak distinctly little good will result. The teacher may spend himself in an effort to inspire and enthuse the student, but this is futile unless the student comes to a resolution to attain those excellencies of which the teacher has spoken. That a student may become self-reliant is the chief business of the teacher. To suggest such vital things in a way that the student
will feel impelled to work them out for himself, this is the art in all teaching. To tell a student all there is to know about a subject, or to present what is said in such a way that the student thinks there is nothing more to be said, is to dwarf and stultify the mind. The inclination of most students is to depend upon the teacher with a helplessness that is as enervating as it is pitiable. Too many teachers, flattered by this attitude or possessed of a sentimental sympathy, encourage it. Thought, discretion, and courage are required to put a student on his own resources and compel him to stay there until he has acquired self-mastery.
Public speaking cannot be exchanged for so much time or money. It cannot be bought or sold; it comes, if it comes at all, as the result of a wisely-directed determination. The teacher's part is to exalt, enthuse, stimulate. He must criticise, certainly, but this is generally overdone. Like some teachers of English who can never overlook a misplaced comma, whose idea of English seems to be to spell and to punctuate correctly, there are teachers of public speaking whose critical eye never sees farther than gesture, articulation, and emphasis. With this attitude toward their work, they become fault-finders rather than teachers. They nag, harrass, and suppress. The business of the teacher is to make the student see visions of beauty, truth and love, to open up to him these mighty fields that he may go in and possess them. To implant a yearning, an unquenchable, all-consuming desire to comprehend and to express the emotions of which his teacher enables him to get glimpses.
Exercises? Yes, all the student can stand without becoming a drone. Criticism? Yes, butThe Teacher no quibbling, no nagging. Criticism is something more than fault-finding. The teacher exalts his profession, ennobles his art, and begets consideration for himself when he maintains the highest standards for himself and for his students.
Learning to speak well is, like forming character, a matter of self-discipline and self-culture. AHabit good voice is a good habit; distinct articulation is a good habit; graceful and effective gestures are a good habit. Like all good habits, these are formed by a constant exercise of the will. The teacher's part is to get the students to hear his own voice, to observe his own gestures, and listen to his own articulation. These things cannot be accomplished over night, and if attempted all at once may make the student too self-conscious; certainly this condition will result if his faults are continually insisted upon. The teacher's great opportunity is to enable the student to know himself, and to see that he is determined to develop his best self.
Sincerity in art! One sometimes doubts whether it exists. Take the special field of art with which theSincerity readers of this magazine are especially concerned. How many depend upon tricks to get their effects! How many struggle mightily to gain a laugh or "a hand," neglecting the theme, the message, the spirit of that which they are professing to interpret. If that which we read is worth while, if it has anything vital in it, the effect will be stronger if the skill and personality of the speaker are kept in the background, and the audience is brought face to face with the spirit of that which has been embodied in the lines. As some readers go through their lines they seem to be saying, Listen to my voice, observe my graceful gestures; isn't this a pretty gown I have?
I'll win you with my smile. Most audiences are good-natured, and enjoy to the full such small vanities; moreover, we all like to see winning smiles, beautiful gowns, and graceful gestures; but it is a pitiable misnomer to call such exhibitions reading. But the more subtle forms of insincerity in this art are even more prevalent. To exaggerate some form of emphasis, to exaggerate a gesture or facial expression, to wrest a passage from its meaning, these, and many other devices for forcing immediate approval from an audience, are grossly insincere. There is still a broader plan on which our sincerity must be judged. To present this effectively I quote at length from Bliss Carmen's recent book, "The Poetry of Life." The essay sets a high standard, but by no other can enduring work be done. The fact that a reader has many engagements, or that a teacher has many pupils is no assurance of sincerity or the high grade of his work. "Munsey's Magazine" has a larger circulation than "The Atlantic Monthly"; the one, "hack stuff," to be suffered only a few minutes while waiting for a train; the other is literature. But, to quote from Bliss Carmen. He is discussing the poetry of life, but the same general principles apply to all art:
"As for sincerity, the poetry of life need not always be solemn, any more than life itself needQuoting Bliss not always be sober. It may be gay, witty,Carmen humorous, satirical, disbelieving, farcical, even broad and reckless, since life is all these; but it must never be insincere. Insincerity, which is not always one of the greatest sins of the moral universe, becomes in the world of art an offence of the first magnitude. Insincerity in life may be mean, despicable, and indicate a petty nature; but in art insincerity is death. A strong man may lie upon occasion, and make restitution and be forgiven, but for the artist who lies there is hardly any reparation possible, and his forgiveness is much more difficult. Art, being the embodiment of the artist's ideal, is truly the corporeal substance of his spiritual self; and that there should be any falsehood in it, any deliberate failure to present him faithfully, it is as monstrous and unnatural as it would be for a man to disavow his own flesh and bones. Here we are every one of us going through life committed and attached to our bodies; for all that we do we are held responsible; if we misbehave, the world will take it out of our hide. But here is our friend, the artist, committing his spiritual energy to his art, to an embodiment outside himself, and escaping down a by-path from all the consequences—what shall be said of him? The insincere artist is as much beyond the pale of human sympathy as the murderer. Morally he is a felon.
"There is no excuse for him, either. There was no call for him to make a liar of himself, other than the most sordid of reasons, the little gain, the jingling reward of gold. For no man would ever be insincere in his art, except for pay, except to cater to some other taste than his own, and to win approval and favor by sycophancy. If he were assured of his competency in the world, and placed beyond the reach of necessitous want, how would it ever occur to him to create an insincere art? Art is so simple, so spontaneous, so dependent on the disingenuous emotion, that it can never be insincere, unless violence is done to all laws of nature and of spirit. Since art arises from the sacramental blending of the inward spirit with the outward form, any touch of insincerity in it assumes the nature of a horrible crime, a pitiable revolt against the order and eternity of the universe.
"It is not necessary, as I say, for art to be solemn and wholly serious-minded in order to be sincere. Comedy is quite sincere. Yet it is easy
Sincerity in Humor
to usurp her name and play the fool for pennies, with never a ray of appreciation of her true character. Sincerity, then, is not the least averse to fun; it only requires that the fun shall be genuine and come from the heart, as it requires that every note of whatever sort shall be genuine and spring from the real personality of the writer " .
BY JOHN MILTON.
Fly, envious Time, till thou run out thy race, Call on thy lazy, leaden-stepping hours, Whose speed is but the heavy plummet's pace; And glut thyself with what thy womb devours, Which is no more than what is false and vain, And merely mortal dross; So little is our loss, So little is thy gain. For when as each thing bad thou hast entomb'd,
And last of all, thy greedy self consum'd, Then long Eternity shall greet our bliss With an individual kiss; And Joy shall overtake us as a flood; When everything that is sincerely good And perfectly divine, With Truth, and Peace, and Love shall ever shine
About the supreme Throne Of Him, t' whose happy-making sight alone, When once our heav'nly-guided soul shall climb, Then all this earthly grossness quit, Attir'd with stars, we shall forever sit, Triumphing over Death, and Chance, and thee, O Time.
The Knight in the Wood
BY E. LEICESTER WARREN.
(Lord de Tabley.)
The thing itself was rough and crudely done, Cut in coarse stone, spitefully placed aside As merest lumber, where the light was worst On a back staircase. Overlooked it lay In a great Roman palace crammed with art. It had no number in the list of gems
Weeded away, long since pushed out and banished, Before insipid Guidos over-sweet And Dolce's rose sensationalities, And curly chirping angels, spruce as birds. And yet the motive of this thing ill-hewn And hardly seen did touch me. O, indeed, The skill-less hand that carved it had belonged To a most yearning and bewildered brain: There was such desolation in the work; And through its utter failure the thing spoke With more of human message, heart to heart, Than all these faultless, smirking, skin-deep saints, In artificial troubles picturesque, And martyred sweetly, not one curl awry.— Listen; a clumsy knight, who rode alone Upon a stumbling jade in a great wood Belated. The poor beast, with head low-bowed Snuffing the ground. The rider leant Forward to sound the marish with his lance. The wretched rider and the hide-bound steed, You saw the place was deadly; that doomed pair,
Feared to advance, feared to return.—That's all.
"A Little Feminine Casabianca"[A]
BY GEORGE MADDEN MARTIN.
(Arranged by Maude Herndon and Grace Kellam.)
[By permission of the publishers and the author we reprint two cuttings from stories in "Emmy Lou." There are ten stories in the book, all of them excellent readings. McClure, Phillips & Co., New York.]
HE Primer Class according to the degree of its precocity was divided in three sections. Emmy Lou belonged to the third section. It was the last section, and she was the last one in it, though she had no idea what a section meant nor why she was in it; and Emmy Lou went on wondering what it was all about, which never would have been the case had there been a mother among the elders of the house, for mothers have a way of understanding these things. But to Emmy Lou "mother" had come to mean but a memory which faded as it came, a vague consciousness of encircling arms, of a brooding tender face, of yearning eyes; and it was only because they told her that Emmy Lou remembered how mother had gone away South, one winter, to get well. That they afterward told her it was heaven, in nowise confused Emmy Lou, because, for aught she knew, South and heaven and much else might be included in these points of the compass. Ever since then Emmy Lou had lived with three aunties and an uncle; and papa had been coming a hundred miles once a month to see her.
But somehow the Primer year wore away; and the close of the first week of Emmy Lou's second year at a certain large public school found her round, chubby self, like a pink-cheeked period, ending the long line of intermingled little boys and girls making what was known, twenty-five years ago, as the First Reader Class.
Her heart grew still within her at the slow, awful enunciation of the Large Lady in black bombazine who reigned over the department of the First Reader, pointing her morals with a heavy forefinger, before which Emmy Lou's eyes lowered with every aspect of conscious guilt. Nor did Emmy Lou dream that the Large Lady, whose black bombazine was the visible sign of a loss by death that had made it necessary for her to enter the school-room to earn a living, was finding the duties incident to the First Reader almost as strange and perplexing as Emmy Lou herself.
Emmy Lou from the first day found herself descending steadily to the foot of the class; and there she remained until the awful day, at the close of the first week, when the Large Lady, realizing perhaps that she could no longer ignore such adherence to that lowly position, made discovery that while to Emmy Lou "d-o-g" might spell "dog" and "f-r-o-g" might spell "frog," Emmy Lou could not find either on a printed page, and further, could not tell wherein they differed when found for her; that, also, Emmy Lou made her figure 8's by adding one uncertain little o to the top of another uncertain little o; and that while Emmy Lou might copy, in smeary columns, certain cabalistic signs off the blackboard, she could not point them off in tens, hundreds, thousands, or read their numerical values, to save her little life. The Large Lady, sorely perplexed within herself as to the proper course to be pursued, in the sight of the fifty-nine other First Readers pointed a condemning forefinger at the miserable little object standing in front of her platform; and said, "You will stay after school, Emma Louise, that I may examine further into your qualifications for this grade."
Now Emmy Lou had no idea what it meant—"examine further into your qualifications for this grade." It might be the form of punishment in vogue for the chastisement of the members of the First Reader. But "stay after school" she did understand, and her heart sank, and her little breast heaved.
It was past the noon recess. At last the bell for dismissal had rung. The Large Lady, arms folded across her bombazine bosom, had faced the class, and with awesome solemnity had already enunciated, "Attention," and sixty little people had sat up straight, when the door opened, and a teacher from the floor above came in.
At her whispered confidence, the Large Lady left the room hastily, while the strange teacher with a hurried "one-two-three, march out quietly, children," turned, and followed her. And Emmy Lou, left sitting at her desk, saw through gathering tears the line of First Readers wind around the room and file out the door, the sound of their departing footsteps along the bare corridors and down the echoing stairway coming back like a knell to her sinking heart. Then class after class from above marched past the door and on its clattering way, while voices from outside, shrill with the joy of the release, came up through the open windows in talk, in laughter, together with the patter of feet on the bricks. Then as these familiar sounds grew fewer, fainter, farther away, some belated footsteps went echoing through the building, a door slammed somewhere—then—silence.
Emmy Lou waited. She wondered how long it would be. There was watermelon at home for dinner; she had seen it borne in, a reat,
striped promise of ripe juicy lusciousness, on the marketman's shoulder before she came to school. And here a tear, long gathering, splashed down the pink cheek.
Still that awesome personage presiding over the fortunes of the First Reader failed to return. Perhaps this was "the examination into —into—" Emmy Lou could not remember what—to be left in this big, bare room with the flies droning and humming in lazy circles up near the ceiling. The forsaken desks, with a forgotten book or slate left here and there upon them, the pegs around the wall empty of hats and bonnets, the unoccupied chair upon the platform—Emmy Lou gazed at these with a sinking sensation of desolation, while tear followed tear down her chubby face. And listening to the flies and the silence, Emmy Lou began to long for even the Bombazine Presence, and dropping her quivering countenance upon her arms folded upon the desk she sobbed aloud. But the time was long, and the day was warm, and the sobs grew slower, and the breath began to come in long-drawn, quivering sighs, and the next Emmy Lou knew she was sitting upright, trembling in every limb, and some one coming up the stairs—she could hear the slow, heavy footfalls, and a moment after she saw the Man, the Recess Man, the low, black-bearded, black-browed, scowling Man, with the broom across his shoulder, reach the hallway, and make toward the open doorway of the First Reader room. Emmy Lou held her breath, stiffened her little body, and —waited. But the Man pausing to light his pipe, Emmy Lou, in the sudden respite thus afforded slid in a trembling heap beneath the desk, and on hands and knees went crawling across the floor. And as Uncle Michael came in, a moment after, broom, pan, and feather-duster in hand, the last fluttering edge of a little pink dress was disappearing into the depths of the big, empty coal-box, and its sloping lid was lowering upon a flaxen head and cowering little figure crouched within. Uncle Michael having put the room to rights, sweeping and dusting, with many a rheumatic groan in accompaniment, closed the windows, and going out, drew the door after him, and, as was his custom, locked it.
Meanwhile, at Emmy Lou's home the elders wondered. But Emmy Lou did not come. And by half-past two Aunt Louise, the youngest auntie, started out to find her. But after searching the neighborhood in vain, returned home in despair. Then Aunt Cordelia sent the house boy down-town for Uncle Charlie. Just as Uncle Charlie arrived—and it was past five o'clock by then—some of the children of the neighborhood, having found a small boy living some squares off who confessed to being in the First Reader with Emmy Lou, arrived also, with the small boy in tow.
"She didn't know 'dog' from 'frog' when she saw 'em," stated the small boy, with derision of superior ability, "an' teacher, she told her to stay after school. She was settin' there in her desk when school let out, Emmy Lou was " .
But a big girl of the neighborhood objected. "Her teacher went home the minute school was out," she declared. "Isn't the new lady, Mrs. Samuels, your teacher?" "Well, her daughter, Lettie, she's in my room, and she was sick, and her mother came up to our room and took her home. Our teacher she went down and dismissed the First Readers " .
"I don't care if she did," retorted the small boy. "I reckon I saw Emmy Lou settin' there when we come away."
The three aunts grew pale and tearful, and wrung their hands in
despair. The small boy from the First Reader, legs apart, hands in knickerbocker pockets, gazed at the crowd of irresolute elders with scornful wonder. "What you wanter do is find Uncle Michael; he keeps the keys. He went past my house a while ago, going home. He lives in Rose Lane Alley. 'Taint much outer my way, I'll take you there." And meekly they followed in his footsteps.
It was dark when a motley throng of uncles, aunties, visiting lady, neighbors and children went climbing the cavernous, echoing stairway of the dark school building behind the toiling figure of the skeptical Uncle Michael, lantern in hand.
"Ain't I swept over every inch of this here schoolhouse myself and carried the trash outten a dust-pan?" grumbled Uncle Michael, with what inference nobody just then stopped to inquire. Then with the air of a mistreated, aggrieved person who feels himself a victim, he paused before a certain door on the second floor, and fitted a key in its lock. "Here it is then, No. 9, to satisfy the lady," and he flung open the door. The light of Uncle Michael's lantern fell full upon the wide-eyed, terror-smitten person of Emmy Lou, in her desk, awaiting, her miserable little heart knew not what horror.
"She—she told me to stay," sobbed Emmy Lou in Aunt Cordelia's arms, "and I stayed; and the Man came, and I hid in the coal-box!"
Copyright, 1901, 1902, by McClure, Phillips & Co.
What He Got Out of It
BY S. E. KISER.
(From theChicago Record-Herald.)
He never took a day of rest, He couldn't afford it; He never had his trousers p
ressed, He couldn't afford it; He never went away, care-free,
To visit distant lands, to see How fair a place this world might be— He couldn't afford it.
He never went to see a play, He couldn't afford it;
His love for art he put away, He couldn't afford it. He died and left his heirs a lot, But no tall shaft proclaims the spot In which he lies—his children thou They couldn't afford it.
The Play's the Thing[B]
BY GEORGE MADDEN MARTIN.
(Arranged by Maude Herndon and Grace Kellam.)
T was the day of the exhibition. Miss Carrie, teacher of the Third Reader Class, talked in deep tones—gestures meant sweeps and circles. Since the coming of Miss Carrie, the Third Reader Class lived, as it were, in the public eye, for on Fridays books were put away and the attention given to recitations and company.No other class had these recitations, and the Third Reader was envied. Its members were pointed out and gazed upon, until one realized one was standing in the garish light of fame. The other readers, it seemed, longed for fame and craved publicity, and so it came about that the school was to have an exhibition with Miss Carrie's genius to plan and engineer the whole. For general material Miss Carrie drew from the whole school, but the play was for her own class alone.
And this was the day of the exhibition.
Hattie and Sadie and Emmy Lou stood at the gate of the school. They had spent the morning in rehearsing. At noon they had been sent home with instructions to return at half-past two. The exhibition would begin at three.
"Of course," Miss Carrie had said, "you will not fail to be on time." And Miss Carrie had used her deepest tones.
It was not two o'clock, and the three stood at the gate, the first to return. They were in the same piece. It was "The Play." In a play one did more than suit the part.
In the play Hattie and Sadie and Emmy Lou found themselves the orphaned children of a soldier who had failed to return from the war. It was a very sad piece. Sadie had to weep, and more than once Emmy Lou had found tears in her eyes, watching her.
Miss Carrie said Sadie showed histrionic talent. Emmy Lou asked Hattie about it, who said it meant tears, and Emmy Lou remembered then how tears came naturally to Sadie.
When Aunt Cordelia heard they must dress to suit the part she came to see Miss Carrie, and so did the mamma of Sadie and the mamma of Hattie.
"Dress them in a kind of mild mourning," Miss Carrie explained, "not too deep, or it will seem too real, and, as three little sisters, suppose we dress them alike."
And now Hattie and Sadie and Emmy Lou stood at the gate ready for the play. Stiffly immaculate white dresses with beltings of black sashes, flared jauntily out above spotless white stockings and sober little slippers, while black-bound Leghorn hats shaded three anxious little countenances. By the exact center, each held a little handkerchief, black-bordered.
Hattie and Sadie and Emmy Lou wore each an anxious seriousness of countenance, but it was a variant seriousness; for as the hour a roached, the solemn im ortance of the occasion was stealin
brain-ward, and Emmy Lou even began to feel glad she was a part of The Exhibition, for to have been left out would have been worse even than the moment of mounting the platform.
"My grown-up brother's coming," said Hattie, "an' my mamma an' gran'ma an' the rest."
"My Aunt Cordelia has invited the visiting lady next door," said Emmy Lou.
But it was Sadie's hour. "Our minister's coming," said Sadie.
Emmy Lou's part was to weep when Sadie wept, and to point a chubby forefinger skyward when Hattie mentioned the departure from earth of the soldier parent, and to lower that forefinger footward at Sadie's tearful allusion to an untimely grave.
Emmy Lou had but one utterance, and it was brief. She was to advance one foot, stretch forth a hand and say, in the character of orphan for whom no asylum was offered, "We know not where we go." All day, Emmy Lou had been saying it at intervals of half minutes, for fear she might forget.
Meanwhile, it yet lacking a moment or so of two o'clock, the orphaned heroes continued to linger at the gate, awaiting the hour.
"Listen," said Hattie, "I hear music."
There was a church across the street. It was a large church with high steps and a pillared portico, and its doors were open.
"It's a band, and marching," said Hattie.
The orphaned children hurried to the curb. A procession was turning the corner and coming toward them. On either sidewalk crowds of men and boys accompanied it.
"It's a funeral," said Sadie.
Hattie turned with a face of conviction. "I know. It's that big general's funeral; they're bringing him home to bury him with the soldiers."
"We'll never see a thing for the crowd," despaired Sadie.
Emmy Lou was gazing. "They've got plumes in their hats," she said.
"Let's go over on the church steps and see it go by," said Hattie, "it's early."
The orphaned children hurried across the street. They climbed the steps. At the top they turned. There were plumes and more, there were flags and swords, and a band led. But at the church, with unexpected abruptness, the band halted, turned; it fell apart, and the procession came through; it came right on through and up the steps, a line of uniforms and swords on either side from curb to pillar, and halted.
Aghast, between two glittering files, the orphaned children shrank into the shadow behind a pillar, while upstreamed from the carriages below an unending line—bare-headed men and ladies bearing flowers. Behind, below, about, closing in on every side, crowded people, a sea of people.
The orphaned children found themselves swept from their hiding by